Today did not go the way I hoped it would. Not at all.
Today I took August to the ENT and really, I shouldn’t have bothered.
Before we even got to the appointment, I knew that August was “off.” By eight AM he had deep circles under his eyes. He was distant, and not at all his usual, cheery self. He ignored other people, which isn’t like him. He was unusually clingy.
So we get into the doctor’s office and I SWEAR August has never looked more Autistic. He literally sat in the office and waved his hands in front of his face and completely ignored the doctor’s attempts to interact with him. He wanted nothing to do with her and that was abundantly clear. The doctor, who was very nice, found no fluid in his ears and he passed the hearing screening.
This leaves us with approximately zero answers. The doctor’s first recommendation was that we make an appointment with a neurologist, which is the exact opposite of what I wanted. She also told me that I’m already doing everything I could possibly do.
I’m really unsure what my next step should be. I’ve known the pediatric neurologist for almost five years now and I have a pretty good idea of what she’s going to say–she’s also going to rely heavily on my opinion and report and I have no idea what I think. I don’t know autism. I mean, if this is autism, it must be really mild. Or unusual. My gut is saying it’s not autism–that it’s something else. It could be that he just inherited the calm, quiet, solitary personality of my husband. It might be an auditory processing thing. It might be a twin thing.
The doctor discussed doing a hearing test under sedation (ABR), and we might go that route. He’s also going to be getting speech services and I’m hoping that will help us figure out if this is developmental or hearing related. The most frustrating part for me is knowing that in a few days he’ll probably be “on” again and these issues will be pretty much invisible. And what side do I want the doctors to see? I’m not sure.
In all of this, the worst part was the warm fuzzy words from the doctor about how even if he is on the spectrum that doesn’t mean he won’t amount to anything. Or something like that. When Charlie was little, and his brain was a disaster area, I really need people to tell me things like that. I craved professionals who were optimistic about my child’s future. But now? I don’t want to hear it. I’ve been there and bought the t-shirt. August is going to be who he’s going to be and my job is just to make sure he’s the best version possible. I’m really not sad. Maybe a little worried that I’m messing up my kids if I’m being completely honest, but I know we can handle this whatever it is.